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Indian multi-billionaire scouts for local opportunities

Masisi and Agarwai met before in London and Lusaka
Indian multi-billionaire, Anil Agarwal is due to jet into the country towards the end of the month, leading a delegation of businesspeople and investors from the sub-continent scouting for opportunities in Botswana.

The visit, at the behest of the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC), will be Agarwal’s first to the diamond-rich country.

The multi-billionaire initially signalled his interest in Botswana by meeting with President Mokgweetsi Masisi twice in the new president’s first 20 days in office. Those meetings were held in Lusaka and London.

The Indian industrialist will be the Centre’s guest of honour at the 13th Global Expo to be held from October 30 of October to November 4.

“We have invited Anil Agarwal to be our guest of honour at our Global Expo. He will be accompanied by Indian companies and investors who will interact with the local entrepreneurs on ways of doing business together,” the BITC said.

Agarwal currently owns 21% of Anglo American and boasts a net wealth of US$4 billion (P39 billion).

Earlier this year, Agarwal met with President Masisi in Lusaka, 10 days after his swearing in. A week later the President and Agarwal met in London where Masisi was attending the ongoing Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

Agarwal, renowned for his rags-to-riches story where he built his empire from

selling scrap metal, holds a controlling stake in Vedanta Resources, a London-headquartered global diversified metals and mining group he founded in 1976. 

Vedanta, which posted a net income of US$880 million last year, owns one of Zambia’s largest copper operations, while the government of Zambia indirectly has equity as well.

The BITC has also invited six angel investors from the United Kingdom, South Africa and Botswana who will accord local start-ups the opportunity to pitch ideas before them. The investors will then select the pitches they want to invest in.

“There will also be business workshops running parallel to the Global Expo which, will include, doing business with Zimbabwe, Korea, Germany, exporting to Sweden, and many others,” the Centre said.

Investment, Trade and Industry minister, Bogolo Kenewendo is expected to hold a special session where she will discuss topics around Africa’s growth trajectory and other existing opportunities for local entrepreneurs beyond the Botswana market.

This year’s Expo, which has already attracted over 240 exhibitors from 16 countries, will be held under the theme ‘Seizing Business Opportunities through Networking with Global Business Leaders’.




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